Growing Wild

With Dr Catherine Keena, Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist

Look out for shamrock – our national emblem. Plants with three usually stalkless leaflets are used. Lesser trefoil also known as yellow clover is grown commercially as shamrock. It has wiry, very slightly hairy stems and the middle leaflet is shortly stalked. It resembles black medick, but lesser trefoil does not have a tooth in the notch at the top of the leaflets. Clusters of up to 20 pale yellow flowers appear in May and after fertilisation, droop like tiny bunches of bananas. Other plants that have been used as shamrock are red and white clover, black medick and wood sorrel. As you wear shamrock on St Patrick’s Day, remember it is part of our native Irish biodiversity.

Letter to the editor

The original advert in Irish Country Living.

Dear editor,

I just picked up this week’s Irish Country Living – my Thursday treat. My fiancé reads up on beef prices and I catch up with Katherine, Neven, Miriam, Ciaran and the rest of the crew! Lovely to see Maria Moynihan back again too.

I’d just like to reply to the Leinster Lady that remains hopeful (for love) and say hang in there – it does happen. Following heartbreak a few years ago and allergic to the apps, with the encouragement and support of close friends we worded my ‘Getting in Touch’ ad. I did garner a few responses but even funnier was that my dad remarked on the phone to my sister in Australia, I’d swear she has an ad in the Journal!

Anyway, after a while texting a prospective candidate, I took a chance and towards the end of lockdown, we met up. And the rest, as they say, is history. We are engaged, getting married this October and planning our future together. I literally couldn’t have written away for this man. I suppose I just want to put out there that getting in touch can work out.

Wishing Leinster Lady the very best, I hope she meets someone special and urging others to take the chance. As the song goes, ‘goes to show you never can tell’.

From Lovely Kerry, Farmers Daughter

Quote of the week

'I’ve been through a number of fresh blood suppliers and currently have a great one, but some days you just don’t know. The local vet could decide ‘no’ and that’s it; that’s me gone'. Máirín Byrne, Inch House Black Pudding.

Number of the week

The lure of the ferry. Brittany Ferries saw 57,000 passengers on their Rosslare-Bilbao route; a 116% increase on 2022.

Stena have seen a 23% increase in cars on their Irish sea routes since COVID-19, while P&O Ferries confirmed “a 16.8% year-on-year passenger growth between 2022 and 2023”.

Poetry corner

The Wordsworth Letters

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, also known as ‘Daffodils’ is William Wordsworth famous poem, inspired by those yellow flowers of spring.Catherine Fahey has penned an imagined letter from Wordsworth, to his sister, Dorothy about the experience. Next week, read Dorothy’s reply.

My Dearest Dorothy,

These words I can but scarcely utter

My heart doth beat with such a flutter,

That glorious scene, oh, my delight!

I all but swooned at such a sight

Of daffodils everywhere around,

On every vacant patch of ground

As caught in my euphoric glance,

Ten thousand swayed in sprightly dance.

Either perchance, or blessed, was I

To have beheld with childish joy,

This beauteous stage before me spread,

Dispelling winter from my head.

Such grace as brought you there with me

Those wondrous, billowing blooms

to see!

While I in radiant vision stood

Enraptured in that hazel wood.

I trust, Dear Sister, that this letter

will indeed gladden your heart.

Ever your affectionate brother, William.

Online pick of the week

Ceramacist Sandra Cole O'Brien.

In this week’s Meet the Maker, Grace Hanna chats to ceramacist Sandra Cole O’Brien of Cole Ceramics about her creative process and how she started her business.

Picture of the week

Toddler Emily Flynn is on the lookout for a new Massey Ferguson in the Irish Farmers Journal. \ Submitted by Kevin Flynn, Westmeath

Read more

Meet the Maker: ceramicist Sandra Cole O'Brien

Mother's Day - the joy of being an Irish mammy